Remembering Munich and how a tragedy can affect the election

Let's take a break from the 2020 election and remember how the unexpected will always make its way on the front pages.

On Labor Day 1972, President Nixon looked like a man headed for re-election.  At the same time, I am not sure that people were predicting a 49-state sweep or winning the popular vote by 22 points.

Then something happened at the Olympics, and the world watched those horrific scenes from the Olympics in Munich: 9 Israeli hostages, 5 terrorists, and one German policeman were killed.

How much did this incident impact the 1972 election?  It's hard to say, but it put experience and foreign policy in the minds of voters.  It was similar to that Beslan school shooting in 2004 in another presidential election.

Munich reminded us that terrorists knew no limits — not even young athletes in the Olympics.  It was the beginning of massive terror attacks, such as 9-11 here in the U.S.

Most of all, it reminded us that you never know what can happen in the last 60 days before an election.

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Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.